We’re fighting to protect women’s health. Here’s how you can help!

As the world grapples with the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19, our mission to expand and improve health care is more important than ever. At the National Women’s Health Network, we’re taking steps to help prevent the virus’s spread while still fighting to improve the health of women in all their diversities.

In the near-term, NWHN staff are temporarily transitioning to full-time work from home status. We have canceled non-essential work travel and will be practicing additional social distancing measures to ensure the safety of our staff and to center the needs of those most vulnerable to serious infection.

But we haven’t stopped fighting for you! Since our founding more than four decades ago, the NWHN has always worked to protect the health of women and their families. This crisis is a tragic reminder of why our work on the front lines to protect, expand, and improve health care and to pressure policymakers to make decisions based on science and evidence, not on profit or fear or ideology, is absolutely critical.

As we look ahead to what is likely to be an extended period of social and economic disruption, we are:

  • fighting for Medicaid expansion in non-expansion states to close the coverage gap through our Raising Women’s Voices campaign
  • fighting to make coverage accessible to everyone, regardless of immigration status
  • publicizing the ways that the pandemic may fall hardest on women, who are more likely to serve as caretakers and health care workers
  • shining a light on the consequences of pandemic for reproductive health care when pregnant people still have to physically collect abortion pills in person or go to a clinic for a birth control prescription

We’re also pushing our elected officials to take bold action now to:

  • mandate paid sick and family leave
  • increase Medicaid funding for states
  • protect service workers as social gatherings are closed or canceled
  • provide unemployment and food assistance
  • ensure free testing and treatment
  • and protect health care workers and their families

You can help by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and telling your senators to support bold action in the face of this looming public health threat.

COVID-19 Policy Updates:

FDA Comments - Possible Emergency Authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

December 17, 2020
Executive Director Cynthia A. Pearson's comments on the safety and efficacy of the Moderna vaccine as indicated by the data presented to the FDA. Our analysis is similar to what we found with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Your Questions About the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Answered

December 14, 2020
Did the company test the vaccine on enough women? Did Trump's blatant political pressure on the FDA undermine the review process? Does the vaccine seem safe in the people who were tested? Read up on the NWHN's answers to all of these questions and more based on our analysis submitted to the FDA by Pfizer-BioNTech.

The NWHN's Statement in Response to the FDA Vaccine Advisory Committee's Vote to Recommend Emergency Use Authorization of the COVID-19 Vaccine Developed by Pfizer/BioNTech

December 11, 2020
The NWHN ultimately applauds the FDA Advisory Committee's decision, but believes that transparency now and going forward is key. We urge the FDA to keep the public informed about the vaccine’s safety, efficacy, and side effects as it is distributed at scale. Further, we urge other vaccine sponsors seeking authorization to submit robust data for all deeply impacted populations. Read our full statement here.

FDA Meeting – Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

December 10, 2020
The NWHN Policy Advocacy Director, Sarah Christopherson, delivers a testimony to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

FDA Meeting – Development, authorization and licensure of vaccines to prevent COVID-19

October 22, 2020
The NWHN Policy Advocacy Director, Sarah Christopherson, delivers a testimony to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

As COVID-19 Vaccine Manufactures Race to the Finish Line, Ensuring Diverse Participation, Safety and Ethics in Clinical Trials is Essential

September 24, 2020
In order to engage BIPOC in clinical trials, companies and our government both need to espouse and engage in values, ethics, and practices that protect human lives; recognize and respond to the challenges that impact participation; and earn the trust of rightfully suspicious potential trial participants.

The Pandemic is Disproportionately Affecting Women — Here’s Why

Women appear to be less susceptible to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. But even as women face less risk from the disease itself, they face much more risk from the social and economic devastation that the disease has wreaked, highlighting the deep inequalities in our economic, social, and health care systems.

How Do We Disrupt the Incredible Burden of COVID-19’s Impact on Communities of Color?

July 6, 2020
During an April White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health (NIH) was asked about reports of health disparities and racial divides experienced during the COVID-19 outbreak.

As COVID-19 Continues to Spread, It’s Important to Make Safe and Healthy Cosmetic and Personal Care Products Choices

May 6, 2020
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact everyone, it is imperative that consumer make safe choices with regard to the personal care and beauty products they use. The virus can be deadly, especially for those with suppressed immune systems.

COVID-19 and Experimental Drugs: Health Information

April 9, 2020
The media is awash with news concerning hydroxychloroquine and its potential as an antiviral treatment against COVID-19, but evidence that its effective against COVID-19 is still limited.

Should COVID-19 impact the Labor and Delivery process and the presence of support guests?

March 31, 2020
With COVID-19 overwhelming New York City's health care system, hospitals are updating their visitation policies to protect their patients and workers. However, restrictive policies regarding labor, delivery, and the postpartum period might do more harm than good for infants and their mothers.

Does COVID-19 Affect Women Differently Than Men? Here's What We Know

March 25, 2020
As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, one trend is increasingly clear: the disparity in how COVID-19 affects men versus women. Yet even as a disparate mortality rates for men and women arise, the lack of sex-disaggregated data makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing this, and who the vulnerable populations are.

If I’m Not Likely to Get Seriously Ill From COVID-19, Why Should I Stay Home?

If I’m Not Likely to Get Seriously Ill From COVID-19, Why Should I Stay Home?March 18, 2020
“Social distancing” is the new media buzzword, but why does it matter for healthy populations? Although about 80% of COVID-19 cases do not require hospitalization and can be treated at home, it is vital that even those who have a low risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms start practicing social distancing now, for several reasons.

How Does COVID-19 Affect Different Age Groups?

How Does COVID-19 Affect Different Age Groups?March 16, 2020
While COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, can lead to hospitalization and even death for young and middle-aged adults, it has caused the most severe health issues for adults over the age of 60 — with particularly fatal results for those 80 years and older. But while not everyone is equally at risk of serious complications, everyone can help prevent the spread!

Wash Your Hands! And Other Tips for the Coronavirus

March 4, 2020
You’ve read about the novel coronavirus in the news but what is it and what can you do to stay healthy and safe? Our blog post gives a quick overview of the virus, the disease it causes, and steps everyone can take to help prevent its spread.